Everything tagged food
This was my third year making holiday-time chocolates for friends, family, and co-workers. This year Mom helped me hit a record of 1080 individual pieces of chocolate. Every year I learn a lot about the process and I'm convinced I'll remember it all the following year. And every year I start the process with the same set of questions and frustrations. So this year I'm writing down everything I learned over the process for notes to next year.
I'm always looking for an excuse to make donuts. I love donuts and I think they're highly underrated. I want to really experiment with donuts and make some fun ones. So I'm planning a donut tasting party. I want to come up with several different recipes to try out on people. So here's what I'm thinking of:
David and I threw a small Oscar night party. The Oscar's website had handy download-able ballots that we printed up for guests. We put together a betting pool to see who could see into the collective mind of the academy - $5 per person. I started handing out ballots and a couple of guests got so serious and driven about filling in the ballots that I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I foolishly thought this was for fun. One person entered his dog so that he could fill out two ballots.
Many years ago, I complained regular to anyone who would listen about the horrible state of espresso drinks in New York City. You only had a few choices: Starbucks, Your Local Deli, and restaurants. There were a few places in the village or Little Italy where you could maybe get a decent espresso, but you couldn't count on getting the good barrista on any given day - and without a good operator, you can only go so far.
I figure I'll get bored of posting the weekly CSA haul, but when I was looking for a CSA, I couldn't find any information about what was in the CSA from week to week. So maybe these posts will help someone else. Also, so far I've had something every week that I have never seen before in my life. So there's some food education going on here as well. Here's the note from the CSA about this week's produce:
This summer, I've been slowly cleaning up my diet. It started a few months ago when my friend, Sara, and I started eating at Pure Food and Wine about once a week (we plan on eating there once a week, but it probably averages out to every other week). For those of you who don't know, Pure makes solely raw, vegan food. No meat, no dairy, no wheat, no soy, no rice, no cooking anything above a particular temperature. I always love it when I tell people about it and they respond with "What's left?". Uh...fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc.
This year, David and I signed up for a CSA - which stands for "Community Supported Agriculture". It's a way for those of us living in New York City to get a weekly supply of organic and locally grown veggies every week. The share is roughly $450 and lasts for 24 weeks. We also signed up for a fruit share, which starts later in the year.
For some reason, I decided that I wanted to make chocolates this year to give out to friends and co-workers. I've done some small experiments over the past couple of years with molded chocolates. They turned out reasonably well. But what I really wanted to do was to use chocolate transfer sheets to create designs on the tops of the chocolates. Transfer sheets are essentially colored chocolate printed onto acetate in a particular design. When you put melted chocolate on the transfer sheet, it transfers from the sheet to the chocolate.
The third week of photography lighting class, we worked on beauty lighting. We set up two stations with a tripod and a strobe light. We later added umbrellas to the mix to see how that affected things.
Friends Kevin and Jeff invited me to go apple picking. I had never been. People talk about it all the time here in the Northeast. I sort of viewed as some quaint attempt to stay in touch with nature. On the west coast, most people either have an apple tree on their property or know someone that does. The idea of going out to pick apples always struck me as a bit silly. However, a fall day spent driving out to the country to hang out in an orchard sounds like a day well spent to me.